Analysis

Please find below the most recent in-depth analysis pieces from CriticalThreats.org.

School Massacre a Sign of Taliban's Desperation but also Violent Capability
By Reza Jan, December 16, 2014

At least 141 people have been killed in a Pakistani Taliban attack on a school in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar. The attack clearly demonstrates that the Pakistani Taliban remains a deadly and potent threat, despite having been weakened by ongoing military operations and recent infighting.

Islamic State Threat Grows in South Asia at Pakistani Taliban's Expense
By Reza Jan, November 10, 2014

Several senior members of the premier al Qaeda-allied Pakistani Taliban umbrella group declared on October 10 that they were defecting and proclaiming allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The move was remarkable because it implied a renunciation of allegiance to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

U.S. Strategy Against Islamic State Is Too Much Air, Not Enough Boots

After 50 days of obvious failure, it's time to consider an approach that might work against ISIS: Get American special forces on the ground with the Sunni Arabs themselves. The only other alternative is to resign ourselves to living with an Al Qaeda state and army.

Sana'a Under Siege: Yemen's Uncertain Future
By Alexis Knutsen, September 25, 2014

The al Houthi siege on Sana’a on September 21 sets a dangerous precedent that could lead to the repartition of Yemen. The al Houthis, whether intentionally or not, have set Yemen on a path that puts the existence of an essential U.S. counterterrorism partner on the table.

The Khorasan Group: Syria's Al Qaeda Threat
By Katherine Zimmerman, September 23, 2014

Eight U.S. strikes targeted the Khorasan group west of Aleppo in Syria on September 22. Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby confirmed that the Khorasan group, which is tied to al Qaeda, was “planning imminent attacks” against targets that included the U.S. homeland. The al Qaeda threat growing in Syria is now realized.

In Fight Against ISIS, the U.S. Must Lead, and Not Rely on Allies

The Islamic State is a threat to the United States of America, and that is the primary reason we must defeat it. The United States has capabilities that no other state or group in the world has, and that is why we must lead this effort.

A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State

The Islamic State is a clear and present danger to the security of the U.S. We must therefore pursue an iterative approach that tests basic assumptions, develops our understanding, and builds partnerships with willing parties on the ground, especially the Sunni Arabs in Iraq.

Obama's Counterterrorism Strategy Is Already Failing

President Obama strategy’s against the Islamic State is based on what the U.S. is doing in Yemen, combining targeted airstrikes with support for a local partner, a counterterrorism strategy which Obama claims has been successful and has made the U.S. safer. Unfortunately, those claims are not accurate.

Don't Replicate the Failure of Yemen

President Obama held up America’s strategy in Yemen as a model for the counterterrorism strategy he intends to pursue in Iraq and Syria. By doing so, he committed to a strategy of targeting terrorists from the air and supporting local security forces in their counterterrorism fight.

Obama's 'Strategy' Has No Chance of Success

A counter-terrorism strategy will not succeed against the Islamic State because it is not just a terrorist group anymore.